Technology is being used in the fight against insurance fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
In a natural disaster, there are many, many legitimate insurance claims. Frauds also seem to come out of the woodwork when a catastrophe occurs.
The Fraud Focus newsletter reports on how technology has been used to snare the crooks. Just after Katrina, private satellite operators flew their space-borne cameras over New Orleans and captured detailed, high-resolution images of every city block.
Insurance companies have purchased these photographs and use them in dealing with insurance claims. One homeowner who did not have flood insurance claimed his house burned before the hurricane. The insurance company, however, had the detailed satellite photographs that showed his house fully intact with water up to the eaves. The homeowner is being prosecuted for insurance fraud.